17,000 Elderly Bulgarians will Receive Health-care Services under a Patronage Care Project
The Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Biser Petkov, announced during the parliamentary scrutiny that 80 projects under the Human Resources Development Operational Program (OPHRD) have already been approved "Patronage for the elderly and the disabled". The value of approved projects is 9.9 million BGN. The total number of users to be covered by the approved projects is 7939 people. More than 17,000 users are expected to be covered by the procedure.
A network of mobile social-health services will be built to be provided in a home environment, with health and social services as well as psychological support and counseling provided to the elderly and disabled. The procedure provides funds for the repair, furnishing and equipment of premises in the municipalities for the provision of patronage care as well as for the training of the staff.
Integrated services will be provided for no less than 12 months, with each user of the service receiving a health and social service up to two hours per day. The maximum service cost per person per year is 2016 leva.
Until May 10 this year municipalities had the opportunity to submit their project proposals. A total of 127 proposals received from the operation of 159 municipalities. They refer to 12,773 users. The amount of the requested grant is almost 31.7 million leva. The first 15 contracts for the provision of patronage care were signed and handed over to the municipalities on 9 May this year.
Minister Biser Petkov quoted National Statistics Institute (NSI) data as of April 12, according to which 33.2% or one third of the population in our country is aged 65 and over. The latest Eurostat data shows that for the period 2007-2017 the share of people aged over 65 in Bulgaria has increased by 3.1%, as our country ranks eighth in the EU.
The percentage of elderly people aged 65 and over in the EU is 19.4%, with an increase of 2.4% over the last ten years.
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